Proposed legislation in Alabama toÂ let homeschooled kidsÂ participateÂ in public school extra-curricular activities began earlier this year.Â Activity surrounding the proposal continues.
- The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama, 30 March 2006, Home-school parents seek sports for kids
The usual reasons for either including or excludingÂ homeschooled kids inÂ the activities are in play.
- The Alabama High School Athletic Association forbids students from playing public-school sports unless they are enrolled full time at a school.
Regarding rules and such, ‘all’ thatÂ is needed (in addition to a change in cultural thinking about how sports and school are related),Â is a change in the rules.Â But, internal political influences probably would make that a long process.
- They argue that home-school families pay taxes for public schools like everyone else and should be treated as members of the community.
The justificationÂ that homeschooling parents pay taxes, and soÂ their children should have access to public school activities,Â doesn’t hold water because, as has been mentioned before, many people who don’t use public schools also pay taxes that support those schools and they receive no personal benefit from the schools.Â
That homeschooling families have made the choice not toÂ participate in public schools while still paying taxes doesn’t give them any more of an entrÃ©e into activities sponsored by the school than does taxÂ payment by private school families.Â (see a discussion on tax credits for families who pay for private schools)Â This isn’t to be ‘mean’ to those families, merely to point out the illogic of the position based on that reason.
- The proposal reflects a growing trend of home-schoolers seeking access to public school sports.
- Proponents who appeared at a Feb. 8 hearing before the House Education Committee, she said, focused on getting access to sports but not to academics. “If you’re able to just cherry-pick, that is not something the school boards found reasonable,” Tucker said.
That ‘more’ homeschooling familiesÂ wantingÂ participation without enrollment, reflects aÂ difference in the attitudes of some familiesÂ choosing homeschooling now,Â from those who were homeschooling ‘pioneers.’Â Where in the ‘early days’ of the return to home education,Â a return that followed the loss of of the idea of self-directed educationÂ for the generations of Americans for whom compulsory school attendance was ‘normal,’ ‘pioneering’ homeschooling families accepted that they had chosen another path than participation in organized schooling.Â These families recognized that they has assumed responsibility for their decision.
All choices have losses and gains.Â Choosing homeschooling stillÂ sometimes means losing access to sport participation.Â Often, you can have anything you want, but you can’t ever have everything you want.
- [Associations in Alabama]Â also believe sports should be a perk for students who remain in public schools.
Why?Â Shouldn’t a good education be an attraction in itself?Â Young children love learning.Â What happens in the years between kindergarten and being a freshman that either repels or discourages the same child?Â How many schools need T-ball to entice Kindergarteners to come to school?Â Perhaps, if sports are needed as a bait for school, something about school should be changed.
- “My question would be if a student could not meet the academic requirements” that school districts and the athletic association set for sports participation, “then what would keep a student from withdrawing from school, getting home-schooled and still be eligible?” Washburn said. “Those kinds of things to circumvent the rule would happen, no doubt about it.”
And what would happen if passing a physical fitness classÂ were required for participation in a sedentary trig class?Â One doesn’t have anything to do with the other, except as an inducement.Â
- Parsons’ biggest concern is whether a public school could legally discipline a home-school student who doesn’t follow the code of conduct. Brown said the standards should be the same.
Oh, fiddle de dee.Â This excuse is fabricated out of whole cloth.Â If any team member breaks the ‘code of conduct,’ that member is booted off the team.Â End of story.Â
This myth of ‘Homeschooler As Special’ is annoying.Â It’s the same sort of thing I’ve seen concerning homeschoolers on military installations.Â “How do commanders discipline (meaning punish) homeschoolers who break installation rules?”Â The commanders proceed just like they do everyone else — follow the rules or suffer the consequences spelled out for breaking those rules.Â Homeschooled kids are just kids, they aren’t aura-enclosed beings immune from The Usual Rules.
- Public schools that have lost enrollment – and the government funding that comes with it – hope to lure students back from home and private schools with sports and academic classes, the nonprofit group concluded. … Brown said that of the 51,000 home-schoolers in Florida in 2004-05, only 315 participated in public school athletics, less than 1 percent.
On the one hand, schools losing enrollment is in the category ofÂ ’not my problem.’Â Children are not school fodder.Â The public school system exists to serve children, children do not exist to serve the public school system, and that schools have toÂ use honey traps toÂ provide a paid-for service indicates, again, the need to look atÂ the atmosphere and culture the service creates.Â On the other, the small number of homeschool participants in public school athletics is practically insignificant andÂ may indicate that focusing on the subject isn’tÂ worth the electrons used to make this post.Â Still, even small squeaky wheels get attention.
The American social construct has arrangedÂ ’childhood’ learning and sports as if there is some inherent connection between the two.Â Yes, learning is important.Â Yes, physical activity is important.Â But good nutrition is also important, and yet there is no requirement thatÂ children bring a specific sort of lunch to school in order to attend class, or to play a sport.Â Lunches are not checked for Food Pyramid compliance (or whatever the latestÂ fashion in food information is).Â School participationÂ does not dependÂ on a childÂ havingÂ musical talent, dramatic talent, or being a savvy business person, yet all of these areas of human endeavor are important to our society as a whole.Â The school/sports connection is just anotherÂ framework we’ve built for ourselves.
Homeschooling has broken the mentalÂ hold organized schooling has on learning.Â Perhaps the hold on sports is slipping as well.Â Community-based activities would solve many of the participation ‘problems.’Â But don’t look for those with the control to give it up soon, or easily.